Posts Tagged ‘Jordan Itkowitz’

Scar Symmetry – The Singularity (Phase I – Neohumanity)

The new Scar Symmetry isn’t just an ambitious sci-fi concept album – the first in a planned trilogy – it’s also the extreme metal equivalent of Voltron. Melodic death combines with progressive metal, fuses with classic 70s radio-rock, and then activates with a core of pure Transformers-soundtrack awesomeness. Stan Bush and Vince DiCola: “Form feet and legs!” Kansas, Styx, and Foreigner: “Form […]

Abysmal Dawn – Obsolescence

In 2012, I covered the Slaughter on the Water III festival aboard the USS Hornet in San Francisco Bay. Yes, a death metal festival on an aircraft carrier. Actually, make that inside the hangar of an aircraft carrier, and you’d better believe that shit was loud. I got tinnitus in my balls. The day was a blur […]

Mare Cognitum – Phobos Monolith

Black metal has become a gigantic and multi-faceted genre in the past 30 (!) years, and each sub-style offers its own emotional and aesthetic experiences. Raw, orthodox, war, symphonic, folk, progressive, depressive, Cascadian, shoegaze, post, industrial, ambient, death/black, black n’ roll – the list goes on. Despite the differences in style, what I look for, […]

Blut Aus Nord – Memorial Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry

We had to wait 13 years between Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age and its second chapter, Dialogue with the Stars – which has since become one of my favorite metal albums of all time. Now Vindsval has only taken 5 years to deliver Saturnian Poetry. Don’t hold it against him; in the meantime, he’s started and completed the 777 trilogy, […]

Xenomorphic Contamination – Chasm of No Return EP

This tasty little Italian brutal death EP comes to us from two members of Vomit the Soul, Beheaded, Antropofagus, Septycal Gorge, and Putridity. To be honest, I had only heard Antropofagus before checking out this EP, but given that this has been a steady player for me all month, I will have to look into the others. […]

Babymetal – Babymetal

I don’t know which I love more: Japan, for its endlessly creative, cartoonish, batshit-insane popular culture, or the Interwebz for delivering it all to my newsfeeds and inbox every day. Without either, my life would not have been blessed with the knowledge of black Burger King Darth Vader Whoppers, people injecting saline solution into their […]

Benighted – Carnivore Sublime

Although they started back in 2000 as a black/death act with nods to early Opeth (hence the band name), now France’s Benighted is a filthy, ultra-groovy and much different beast altogether. Most of their albums, including 2011’s excellent (and, for me, list-topping) Asylum Cave, are like being flung around inside a brutal death/grind bounce house packed with […]

Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen

“Art of the ugly soul. One is limiting art much too severely when one demands that only the composed soul, suspended in moral balance, may express itself there. As in the plastic arts, there is in music and poetry an art of the ugly soul, as well as an art of the beautiful soul; and […]

Satyricon – Satyricon

The self-titled album. A tradition as old as almost metal itself. There are several reasons for the eponymous album title. An introduction, by which the band simply says “We are Iron Maiden. We are Black Sabbath. We are Bathory. And this is our sound.” Or a re-introduction, where the band has undergone some significant change, […]

James LaBrie – Impermanent Resonance

I’ve been a longtime Dream Theater fan – 21 years, in fact, since the release of one of the finest progressive metal albums ever released, Images and Words. And yet, in all of that time, I’ve never checked out any of vocalist James LaBrie’s solo material (4 albums’ worth). A friend slapped me around a […]

Ghost – Infestissumam

Seems like Ghost (or Ghost BC, as the lawyers like to call them now) has made a deal with the Devil. They got a major advance for their sophomore album – $750,000 buys a lot of face-paint and incense. You can hear it in the production and atmosphere, as thick and as decadent as blood […]

KMFDM – Kunst

Another year, another new KMFDM album. If only every band were so prolific! The five letter word this time is KUNST, which is German for ‘art.’ Appropriate for an album that pays homage to the jailed Russian punkettes in Pussy Riot. Great classic Brute cover too – boobs, chainsaw, cutting down a giant cross. No […]

Soilwork – The Living Infinite

Wow. x2. Soilwork have returned with their strongest release to date, and they’ve done it with a double album. This means they’ve just topped themselves – and likely the rest of the entire melodeath genre – twice. These two albums coalesce everything that’s always been dazzling about Soilwork, from the early shredfest barrage of Steelbath Suicide and The Chainheart […]

Cult of Luna – Vertikal

Raze the neon towers and huddled tenements of futuristic cityscapes – from Blade Runner to The Dark Knight Rises – and you’ll find Metropolis as their foundation. Released as a silent film in 1927, it’s echoed through our collective sci-fi imagination ever since. C3PO, the Macintosh 1984 commercial, the laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein, the artificial hands of various […]

Rage Nucléaire – Unrelenting Fucking Hatred

I’ll be honest, the French (Canadian) spelling of the word ‘nuclear’ is about as threatening as George W. Bush’s ‘nucular’. Also, when you title your album Unrelenting Fucking Hatred, that sets all kinds of warning signs that this is not going to be particularly original. However, given that this project was started by Lord Worm […]

Maveth – Coils of the Black Earth

Sometimes all you need is some cool cover art to pull you in. A black and wraith-like six-armed winged deity, bristling with weapons and riding a flying serpent past a rotting Lovecraftian cairn piled high with skulls. Part Frazetta and part 18th-century woodcut, lovingly created by Chilean illustrator Daniel Desecrator. It’s simple and stark and […]

Cult of Fire – Triumvirát

Cult of Fire are described as “the new Czech masters of atmospheric black metal,” following in the tradition of forebears like Master’s Hammer and Root. A lofty statement, but once you hear Triumvirát, it’s an undeniable one as well. (And if those names aren’t enough for you, drummer Tom Coroner also led a previous life […]

Fhoi Myore – The Northern Cold EP

The press notes for this French black metal band mention the strange, underground terror of Les Legions Noires as part of their heritage. Not quite; that’s a comparison better suited for atmospheric and boundary-straining countrymen like Deathspell Omega or Blut Aus Nord. I’d place Fhoi Myore – named for a tribe of frost giants from […]

Enslaved – RIITIIR

A new Enslaved album has become an event for fans of challenging and atmospheric progressive and extreme metal, promising a depth and soulful, honest authenticity that few bands today cannot match. Theirs is a ceaselessly adventurous, bold and fearless persona, and every new album is a journey all its own. With RIITIIR, the 12th studio album in a […]

Skarab – Skarab

The guys over at Zeitgeister Music sure are creative, I’ll give ’em that. That’s the small German label responsible for avant-garde black metal act Klabautamann, the opulent and tragic Woburn House and the hoary progressive doom of Valborg, among others. It’s an incestuous collective, with the members freely circulating from one act to another, and […]

The Graviators – Evil Deeds

Although metal keeps splintering and evolving as we push on through the 2010s, a lot of bands keep reaching back to the early 70s for their sound and inspiration. (Do the math – that’s 40 years ago already!) All those decades later, and those groovy bonghit riffs and bone-scattered altars are as influential as they […]

Blut Aus Nord – 777: Cosmosophy

In last year’s review of 777: The Desantification, I noted the evolution of transcendental melody and ethereal majesty from the uglier, first part of the trilogy to the second chapter, and wondered if that arc would continue into 777: Cosmosophy. Over the past year, Blut Aus Nord (just Vindsval now) has continued to develop and […]

Ultra Zook – EPUZ

We get a lot of albums to review here at Teeth of the Divine. Not all of them are metal. We usually don’t cover those, but if it’s interesting or different enough, we’ll throw some words at it. So Ultra Zook is today’s lucky winner! Ultra Zook is from France. This EP, Epuz, sounds like […]

Temple – On the Steps of the Temple

“Mountain,” the first cut from On the Steps of the Temple, bursts forth like a natural disaster. It’s cinematic and epic, the score to a looming apocalypse or a terrible revelation. It’s the sound of the earth shaking and crumbling loose to unleash something monstrously unnatural – some great and slumbering beast that cranes its […]

Gig Report: Slaughter by the Water 3

A 12-hour metal festival—featuring Autopsy, Absu, Abysmal Dawn, Impaled and Exodus—on a WWII aircraft carrier. How fucking metal is that? Slaughter by the Water 3, the Bay Area’s own metal festival, was held this year aboard the USS Hornet in Alameda, CA. In this epic, exclusive TOTD feature, we sit down with the show’s organizer, then step aboard for a gig report on a venue that could literally destroy all other venues. All horns on deck!